Interested in blogging
about ACC football?
2008 CFN Maryland
2008 Maryland Depth
2007 CFN Maryland Preview |
2006 CFN Maryland
Head coach: Ralph Friedgen
8th year: 56-31
Off. 23, Def. 20, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 16
Ten Best Terp
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jr.
2. LB Dave Philistin, Sr.
3. CB Kevin Barnes, Sr.
4. DT Jeremy Barnes, Sr.
5. LT Scott Burley, Sr.
6. LG Jaimie Thomas, Sr.
7. LB Moise Fokou, Sr.
8. C Edwin Williams, Sr.
9. RB Da'Rei Scott, Soph.
10. LB Trey Covington, Sr.
2008 Season: 0-0
Aug. 30 Delaware
Sept. 6 at Middle Tennessee
Sept. 13 California
Sept. 20 Eastern Michigan
Sept. 27 at Clemson
Oct. 4 at Virginia
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 Wake Forest
Oct. 25 NC State
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 6 at Virginia Tech
Nov. 15 North Carolina
Nov. 22 Florida State
Nov. 29 at Boston College
2007 Season: 6-7
Sept. 13 West
at W Forest
L 31-24 OT
Sept. 29 at
Rutgers W 34-24
at North Carolina
Boston College W 42-35
Florida State L 24-16
at NC State
Dec. 28 Oregon State L 21-14
Believe it or not, it has only been five years since the Terps were
stringing together 10-win seasons and making it look shockingly easy. It
just feels a whole lot longer.
Key player to a
Sophomore RB Da’Rel Scott. While it might be asking too much for one of
the quarterbacks to take flight, the offense can still get a lift if
another playmaker develops to complement Heyward-Bey. Scott can be that
guy, providing a spark to the running and passing game with his knack
for finding a hole and jetting through it for large chunks of real
estate. One more weapon is needed to take some pressure off the
This was the rising team from the ACC with a head coach that
appeared to be the next big thing. The Under Armour people jumped on
board, there were some good recruiting classes to get excited about, and
the pieces appeared to be in place.
Now the program has hit an impasse under Ralph Friedgen, settling into
the midsection of the ACC and stumbling repeatedly on offense when it
looked like the attack was about to be special. Conceding he could no
longer wear two hats, Friedgen hired James Franklin away from Kansas
State to light a fire under a unit that hasn’t averaged more than 24
points a game since 2003.
An ace recruiter, Franklin’s first order of business will be to make
sense out of a muddled quarterback situation that includes Chris Turner,
Jordan Steffy, and Josh Portis, the ballyhooed Florida transfer who
hasn’t been able to get on the field the last two years. None of the
three conjure up images of Boomer Esiason, meaning the running game will
again be an essential part of the attack.
Even with all the issues, Friedgen, who tends to do his best work when
the least is expected of his teams, has enough in place to be good. The
team is only a year removed from a solid 9-4 season, and while this
might not be a big-time juggernaut, it’s almost a lock to be a bowl team
again. If nothing else, Maryland figures things can’t get worse on the
injury front after losing an unimaginable 17 players from the two-deep
for at least one game in 2007.
However, the Terps have the look of a middle-of-the-pack program that
isn’t particularly sterling at any one unit. The wide receivers, led by
Darrius Heyward-Bey, could be really dangerous, but even they’ll be
neutralized if one of the quarterbacks doesn’t raise the level of his
game. The defense will be fine, but nothing special, and that’s the
After seven years under Friedgen, being fine, but nothing special, isn’t
where things were supposed to be. On the plus side, the ACC doesn’t
appear to be a juggernaut, so if the right breaks happen and a few
surprises kick in, it won’t take all that much to be a player in the
conference race. For all the mediocrity, Maryland isn’t so bad that it
can’t get a stunner of a year.
What to look for on offense: More big
plays out of the running game. Former Terps Lance Ball and Keon
Lattimore were terrific while they were in College Park, but rarely
broke free for long gains. That just wasn’t their strength. Their
replacements, however, Da’Rel Scott and Morgan Green, both have the
speed and burst to force revisions to the playbook. Scott, in
particular, only needs a little room to be off to the races and into the
What to look for on defense: Problems on
the defensive line. Maryland has talent in the back seven, but it might
not always look that way if the front four doesn’t pull its weight.
Losing big bodies Dre Moore and Carlos Feliciano will be felt on a unit
that was No. 10 in the ACC in run defense and No. 11 in sacks. Jeremy
Navarre is the line’s best player, but at 6-3 and 270 pounds, his move
from end to tackle could wind up negating some of his pass rushing
The team will be far better if … one of the passers steps
up, captures the job, and doesn’t look back. The last thing the offense
needs is a lingering quarterback controversy or another season of
inconsistency under center. Whether it’s Steffy, Turner, or Portis, it’s
about time Maryland gets better productivity from behind center,
maximizing the potential of a dangerous and explosive receiving corps.
The Schedule: The Terps face California for the first
time in a fun September home game, but the rest of the non-conference
schedule is a joke facing Delaware, at Middle Tennessee and Eastern
Michigan. The scheduling gods make up for it with trips to
Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Boston College that'll ensure an
also-ran status in the ACC title race. On the plus side, there's a good
chance to come up with a winning season with victories in at least three
of the four home games against Wake Forest, NC State, North Carolina and
Best Offensive Player: Junior WR Darrius Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey
has been one of the ACC’s best deep threats the last two years, and the
scary part is that he hasn’t even approached his full potential. Still a
little raw and inconsistent, he’s 6-2 and 206 pounds, clocking in below
4.3 in the forty, a size-speed combo that’s often too much for opposing
defensive backs to handle. There’s a chance he could be the first
receiver taken in next year’s draft.
Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Dave Philistin. Philistin
arrived last year, finishing second on the team with 124 tackles, 6.5 of
which were behind the line. A prototypical Maryland middle linebacker,
he’s big, physical, and capable of covering lots of ground in a hurry.
With Erin Henderson out of the picture, Philistin will be one of
Maryland’s top defensive pro prospects.
The season will be a success if ... the Terps return to the
postseason for a third straight year. While there are too many concerns
at quarterback and on the defensive line to think division crown, the
schedule is soft enough to produce the seven wins needed to guarantee
bowl eligibility. With Delaware, Middle Tennessee State, and Eastern
Michigan on the non-conference schedule, nothing worse than a 3-1 start
is expected before ACC play begins.
Key game: Oct. 18 vs. Wake Forest. Go ahead and label this
meeting an elimination game in the tightly-packed ACC Atlantic. The
Demon Deacons broke Maryland’s heart last year, erasing a
three-touchdown deficit and winning in overtime. It’ll serve as extra
motivation for those Terps that still remember how they let that game
2007 Fun Stats:
- Sacks: Opponents 50 for 288 yards – Maryland 28 for 187 yards
- Passing touchdowns: Opponents 14 – Maryland 9
- Fumbles: Opponents 28 (lost 12) – Maryland 15 (lost 6)